The internet can be a dark and terrifying place. There are words I know, words of power, so damning and bleak that merely to utter them is to invite madness and despair. Alright, fine, merely to google them. And with safesearch off. And no, I’m not telling you what they are, you strange individual.
It is the land of 4chan and /b/. The land of the defunct and un-mourned Encyclopedia Dramatica, now a redirect to the grouting-flavoured cat repository known as Oh, Internet. The land of horrifying shock sites, and videos of hobo fights.
Except, as you already know having made it to this lovely safe haven, the internet also has a warm and fluffy side. It is the internet that has allowed grown men to express their love of a show called My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the internet that first showed us what joy looked like (it looks like a sneezing panda), the internet that helped us to find and befriend other people who shared our deepest, geekiest interests.
It is a combination of fluffy internet and scary internet that has helped fathers reunite with daughters, mothers reunite with sons, and various combinations and permutations along those lines.
These are the best stories of true love, family togetherness and doggies, and they all owe their existence to the most advanced stalking techniques the internet can provide.
3. Family Pays £1300 To Be Reunited With Beloved Dog
This tale of scrappy courage and heart-warming devotion must surely be a creation of Disney. Or… must it? Obviously not, as I am writing about it. Do keep up.
British family man Darren Smith adopted a stray dog on the streets of Dubai. Drawn into the very bosom of family life, the dog (named Holly) dropped its guard and learned the greatest lesson of all: how to love again.
Soon after, Mr. Smith lost his job and returned to England. Unable to pay to have the dog flown over, the heartbroken family left poor Holly trapped in Dubai.
Until, that is, the magic of the internet brought them together once more, two months later, as the family stumbled across Holly’s picture alongside a plea for help, on a random Dubai website. For some reason, probably their kid’s incessant kvetching, this time they decided to pay the exorbitant fee to retrieve their slave-animal.
Joyful at being reunited at last, they lived happily ever after; haunted only by niggling doubts as to whether they should’ve abandoned the dog in the first place.
2. World War Veterans
Yeah, yeah. World War Veterans, buddies to the end, thought they’d never meet up again, heart-warming tale, cool story. Heard it all before.
Except *record scratch* these guys were bitter enemies. Oh yes. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?
Wolf Danckworth was an officer on a U-boat that attacked an Allied convoy, which sounds like the beginning of a bad WWII screenplay, but actually happened. Yes, he was really called ‘Wolf Danckworth’. Frank Arsenault was some bloke on board the ship that rammed and sank his U-boat – and Wolf was the only survivor.
Thanks to the internet, though, they put aside their, uh, little differences such as trying to kill each other and all their friends, and now Arsenault’s wife says that the message of the story is not the more obvious moral, “You will only survive a submarine sinking if you have the coolest name onboard,” but the altogether nicer, “We can put aside our animosities and become friends.”
1. Brother Reunited With Sister In Most Awkward Way Possible
Rather coyly, the Daily Mail described Sarah Kemp as a divorcee looking for love, finding someone who she had a lot in common with by way of a dating website, and then discovering that he was her long lost brother.
The actual website, called ‘forgetdinner’, is in fact an adult dating site. In case you don’t know what one of those is, then firstly, aww, bless your heart. Secondly, it is a site where people who aren’t particularly interested in ‘looking for love’ can skip that, and simply look for ‘love’. The deepest ‘love’ they can find. A whole lotta ‘love’.
Sex, I’m talking about sex.
You’ve got to wonder just how close they came to breaking more than a few hefty taboos along their way to reunification. I imagine that family get-togethers get pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly, round their way…
Patrick Robson is a freelance journalist and regular online blogger. He blogs for White Pages, an online people finder service and phone book, helping people to find each other across the UK.